Well, naphtha is a mixture of hydrocarbons so it would seem likely that for removing grease, you might have better luck with different hydrocarbons removing different types of things in the grease. But real elbow grease may be the required ingredient no matter which solvent you choose!!
gotcha, so to opposite the question. would naptha be better if i want to leave a layer of oil behind? i know it will be very low but is it safe to say it would be a bit gentler or a bit more lubricating since its a little oily while heptane seems to be straight solvent?
I used to do everything with bare hands, as I'm sure we all did before the advent of nitrile gloves. I found naptha to be the most effective cleaning solvent that was also relatively gentle on skin. The camping fuel version supposedly has a very tiny amount of oil in it - to protect the metal on camping gear - but I've never noticed any residue.
This is a good description of the difference. I stole the quote.
Naphtha is a brother to mineral spirits (also called paint thinner). They are the same basic thing; a soup of alkanes (aliphatic hydrocarbons) derived from petroleum. Depending on the balance of alkanes in the mixture, it will dry either a bit faster or a bit slower. Naphtha dries a bit faster than mineral spirits.